Note: In this post I will ask for donations. Although a donate link can always be found in my sidebar, I only directly ask for donations once a year. If this bothers you, please skip this post.
Readership of this blog continues to grow, so much so that page hits have doubled during this current month. (I am not even able to attribute this recent uptick to this particular post Survivor: Tierra Del Fuego Season 19, which a while back was actually one of the top Google search results for anything related to the Survivor television show…how that happened, I have no idea!)
If you enjoy the content that is available here on Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, and are able to do so financially, please click on the donate button at the bottom of this post and make a $25 donation.
97.1 cents of every dollar that is donated (2.9 cents are deducted by PayPal) will be spent on the following items:
Monthly Internet and annual web hosting fees associated with RheumatoidArthritisGuy.com, which need to be renewed at the end of this month.
My medical expenses, which are by far the biggest line item on my monthly budget. I do not have medical insurance, which means that I pay 100% out-of-pocket for all of my doctors visits, physical therapy sessions, lab tests, and prescription medications.
Savings towards the purchase of a new computer. I have had two computers die on me this past year, and am left with a 17-inch heavy-as-heck laptop computer that is more than five years old. The electrical connector no longer works correctly, and the latch that holds the battery in place is broken and has since been replaced with duck tape. Not only does this make the computer less portable than it should be, but it also results in numerous unexpected shutdowns during any given day. (Not even flares are as annoying!)
Chocolate and ice cream, because medicines alone aren’t enough to make this superhero feel good!
A new cape. Okay, I’m just joking about this item…but who knows…maybe one day?
“Success isn’t about achieving something in the future,
but about doing something right now that you love.”
-Leo Babauta, zenhabits.com
Yesterday, I had one of my usual morning episodes of morning stiffness, which lasted until past midday. While the inflammation was present throughout my entire body, it seemed to be particularly focused on my ankles. On cold days, some people idle their cars for a few minutes in order to warm up the engines. I, on the other hand, continuously rotate (or at least attempt to rotate) my feet in gentle circles until they are deemed flexible enough and strong enough to support my body weight…then, and only then, do I get out of bed.
When it was time to eat lunch yesterday, I still wasn’t able to move about…so I had lunch in bed. My corner of the bedroom is full of different types of tables. There is the typical nightstand table, which holds a radio, my alarm clock, a lamp, and a small selection of arthritis lotions. Next to this is a blue wood folding tv table–at any given moment throughout the day, this is holding either a stack of books, my laptop computer, or food and drink. Last, but not least, is the serving tray with folding legs. Normally associated with romantic breakfasts in bed, its presence takes on a much more pragmatic role in my life.
I’m finally able to walk around, so I decide to go outside and breath some fresh air while sitting in the warm sun. I decide to do some light stretches while sitting down…only yesterday did my physical therapist tell me that the muscle contracture surrounding my right elbow was the worst she’s ever seen in her career. It feels good to flex, even though I have to be extremely careful with my left knee (which has not been able to open up completely for month). I think to myself that I need to do more of this: sit outside in the sun and do some gentle exercises.
It’s time for a bath. In the past couple of years I’ve showered only once, and that was that day almost a year ago when I woke up late for work. Now, I prefer to fill the tub with hot water and soak for at least fifteen minutes. Luckily, at the moment, getting in and out of the bathtub is not presenting any issues. This routine, which used to start my day, continues to be pushed back on my schedule. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful excuse for a “new start”, no matter what the hour.
Morning is a state of mind, not a time of day.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
Rheumatoid Arthritis “Sunny Side Up” Welcome to my RA blog! I was diagnosed in Nov. of 2010, after almost 3 years of pain and misdiagnoses. This is all about my experience, my life, my living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is a systemic auto-immune disorder…it’s not osteoarthritis! Spread the word!
Read More: http://rasunnysideup.blogspot.com/
Rheumatoid Arthritis Support
he diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis 12 years ago was devastating. After years of mainstream and alternative treatments I learned how to manage the disease and live within limitations. This is not easy for an A type personality who thrived on stress and activity! Realizing accurate knowledge would empower me I researched numerous books and scientific studies on Autoimmune diseases.
Read More: http://rheumatoidarthritissupport.blogspot.com/
As many of you may already know, I’ve been on 20mg+ of Prednisone for the past few months. I previously tried to taper off many times, but the results were always the same: a major flare-up, followed by another increase in my Prednisone dosage.
A few weeks ago I started another taper, this time determined that I would make it through. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m close. For the past two weeks, I was once again in a major flare…but at the moment, things seem to be going well.
I’m feeling pretty good right now. Which if you has asked me 48 hour ago, this would have been the last thing that I would have thought I’d be saying right about now.
But I’ve had a really good day and a half…sure, my symptoms have shown a slight decrease during this short time period, but any objective measurement would indicate that they are still operating at pretty severe levels, so much so that at the moment I have little to no use of my left ankle…and my left knee isn’t too far behind.
You know how sometimes you’re in a space that’s really really hot, and then out of nowhere a slight draft of cold air brushes against part of your body, and all of a sudden you’re completely cold? I sort of had a similar experience yesterday, except this time it wasn’t associated with hot/cold. My body was absolutely enveloped in pain, but out of I-don’t-know-where, I felt a sensation of well-being coming my way. I decided to tap into this sensation. I’m glad I did, because to this moment it continues to grow strong.
And instead of concerning myself about how long this will last, I’ve just decided to enjoy each and every second of it.
Last week, a new thought crossed my mind. I started to think about how much time, effort, and money I dedicate towards trying to reduce or eliminate my pain and inflammation, and the frustration that naturally presents itself when such result are not achieved. So I began to wonder, is all of this time, effort, and money not best spent on learning how to better incorporate this pain and inflammation into my life? I mean, they’ve been a constant presence in my world for almost a decade now, and experience has shown me that they only become stronger the more I fight against them.
So a few days ago, I decided to do a complete 180° turn when it comes to coping with my rheumatoid arthritis.
I’m welcoming the pain and inflammation. I’m respecting my new physical limitations. When the pain is worse than I can ever imagine, when it feels like a heavy blanket that is smothering me, I am reaching out and connecting with it. I no longer see my disabilities as roadblocks, but as opportunities which allow me to get to know myself even better. I no longer see my pain as something to get rid of, instead I see it as something to get used to. And at any given moment, I only allow myself to focus on what I can do, even during those moments when I am not able to move any part of my body.
Already, this new approach is showing positive results.
Like I said, I’m feeling pretty good right now…and I’m not going to let any amount of pain, inflammation, or disability take this feeling away from me.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!